Paradise Kiss Volume 1

By David Rasmussen, 7th Jun 08
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According to the back of this book main title protagonist Yukari is about to be dragged into the world of high fashion… which I suppose is better than saying Yukari is going to get involved in the world of street level beginner yet uniquely inspired fashion.
And yes, if you remember the reference ot this title made by Svetlana Chmakova’s Dramacon Volume 1 you have already had the ending spoiled for you as you figured out by now how it’ll all end. But let’s pretend you didn’t read that volume, or didn’t read the slight hint to this title given in that title, and go from there.

Yukari is just walking along through the city, minding her own business as she silently vents her hatred for the world about her… when she runs into a British punk rocker with a serious petting attachment to her. Before you can say “Michael, leave that chimp alone!” (allegedly) she’s off to the races only to be caught by a rather striking… drag queen. It seems the two are part of a “fashion house” (small one) called Paradise Kiss, and they need a new model. Little do they know what a simple request like that will lead them into.

It is not instant, as Yukari needs to be dragged kicking and screaming (or just against her will at first) into the world, but once she meets the others (the female Miwako who is struggling to find her own “voice” in fashion, and George who soon becomes an obsession for Yukari) things begin to become complicated. Especially when Yukari introduces her present male physical attachment interest (I guess not yet boyfriend) who isn’t George to Miwako only for us to realize they have a history together.

Things get worst as the volume rolls on, Yukari begins to have issues with her feelings for George, and the two end up kissing at the end… which would be promising if I didn’t already read Dramacon Volume 1 and have the ending spoiled for me.
So since I already know how it ends I won’t be too surprised when I review the end and find out how it ends (as in the whole story as to how it ends).

Otherwise it’s another work of Ai Yazawa, and if you enjoy Yazawa’s works you’ll find yourself entranced with this gem. Of course if you don’t know your Yazawa from your Takahashi then you should still read this… it might get you hooked.
Fan or not of the talent, you should still recognize the talent that Yazawa is and embrace the work. 4 out of 5.

By David Rasmussen, 7th Jun 08

Paradise Kiss

Paradise Kiss manga review

Publisher
Tokyopop

Country of origin
Japan

Length
5 volumes

Year of production
2000

Writers
Ai Yazawa

Artists
Ai Yazawa

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